For DeAndre Hopkins, it was as simple as whoever offered the best contract.
And anyone who’s followed Bill Belichick’s New England Patriots over the past two-plus decades saw coming, they were not going to be the team to come to Hopkins with the best offer. That’s despite having more room to spend to the cap; they had a $9.3 million edge in cap space in the hunt for Hopkins, according to OverTheCap.com.
Despite that, the Pats’ offer for Hopkins “wasn’t in the same ballpark” as the one from the Titans. As reported by Ian Rapoport, Hopkins’ contract with Tennessee is for two years and a base value of $26 million, with a chance to make up to $3M per year in incentives.
The details of New England’s offer for Hopkins haven’t been reported by anyone reliable. But it’s reasonable to assume that, based on new reports, the Titans’ incentives alone were a better offer than whatever the Patriots put on the table.
Here’s a rundown of all the factors in play…
DeAndre Hopkins’ Contract
Just the base value of Hopkins’ deal with the Titans likely eclipsed that of the Patriots. But on top of two years and $26 million, Hopkins has $3 million per year in incentives – and they’re actually reasonable. According to Ian Rapoport, Hopkins can earn the full $3 million if he gets to 95 catches, 1,050 yards, and 10 touchdowns ($1M for each milestone).
The incentives have four tiers, meaning Hopkins can still earn $750,000 if he reaches 65 catches, 750 yards, and four touchdowns. They’re structured in such a way that they can be classified as “Not Likely To Be Earned,” since Hopkins caught 64 passes for 717 yards and three TDs in 2022, and so they won’t count against the cap.